Korea was occupied by the Japanese in 1904. Koreans have their own language and ethics, constituting a group different from the Chinese and the Japanese. Clothing, customs, lifestyle and, psychology of the Koreans are also noticeably different. White cloths and a small black cap, covering only part of the head, are common attributes of the Koreans. It is hard to understand what provokes the isolation of this area, only imperceptively set apart geographically, but the distinction is nevertheless a real fact.
“Japanization” proceeded with great intensity during the past decade [1918-1928]. All the main industrial enterprises are in the hands of the Japanese; the Koreans constitute basically the agricultural population. 
I crossed the peninsula going to the capital, Seoul, a large centre with half a million inhabitants where there was a large exhibition celebrating the 20-year-old  union between Korea and Japan. According to an itinerary planned together with the consul general, I was to make a cross section through the entire peninsula so that I could become familiar with different crops, collect as many samples as possible and in a short time learn to understand the peculiarities of Korean agriculture.
A considerable portion of the Korean territory has still not been put under the plow. The interior part is represented by coniferous forests. The composition of the crops is mainly the same as that of the Japanese: rice and soyabeans. A large amount of Chinese “adzuki” beans  in a remarkable variety of forms is harvested. The fruit plantations are represented mainly by Japanese persimmons (Diospyros kaki) and “ju-ju” . The latter fruit is widely distributed in China and Korea and used both in fresh and dried form. In the dried form it reminds one of the taste of dates and is frequently known under the name of “Chinese dates.”
- Things are different today, at least in South Korea. Agriculture represents 2.9% of GDP and employs 7.5% of the labour force. In the North agriculture makes up 23.3% of GDP and employs 37% of the labour force. Figures from the CIA World Factbook. [↩]
- Actually 25. [↩]
- Phaseolous angularis, now usually Vigna angularis [↩]
- Jujube. Vavilov’s naming of this fruit will be fully explored in a later post. [↩]